Reduce PDF file size with Quartz filters

The standard Quartz filter to reduce the size of PDFs with bitmap images is rather aggressive: it reduces the resolution dramatically and also compresses the image considerably. The result is usually a more or less unreadable document. Therefore I created my own PDF Quartz Filters which will become available in Preview and other applications after placing them in the /Library/Filters/ folder on your hard drive (root). I have created filters for various resolutions (100+150+200dpi) and JPG compression rates (75% and 85%).

It is also rather easy in OS X to add a custom paper size of 210x297mm with 0mm margins all around, which is a full A4. Advantage of using this, is that scanned A4 pages will not (or at least do not have to) be scaled.

LibreOffice colour palettes

After becoming a bit frustrated about the standard colour palette in LibreOffice 4(.1.3 on OS X Mavericks) I decided to add some colours and reorganise the existing list. The colours I added came from the Android 4 colour palette, because I simply am quite charmed by it. I did not rename them to match the web colours naming, so it would be easier to recognise them.

The interface in LibreOffice is not that strong for enabling the colour palette. I personally replaced the original by this one by moving the existing standard.soc one out of the ~/Application Support/LibreOffice/4/user/config/ folder (to create a backup immediately...) and placing the standard LibreOffice colour palette supplemented with the Android colours in that folder instead. To make it work, rename the downloaded file from standard-modified.soc to standard.soc.

Feel free to download the Android colours LibreOffice palette only and/or the standard LibreOffice colour palette supplemented with the Android colours. If you want to replace the standard palette with my palette, please remember to make a backup of your original one (just in case) and then rename it as described above.


The failed/failing 128GB MBA SSD is accessible via Target disk mode over a Thunderbolt connection!

After first trying DiskUtility to create a block copy disk image of the MBA SSD and this ending in frustration due to errors halfway through, I resorted to the Terminal. My hope was that diskutil would be more robust than its GUI sibling in creating disk images. It was, but still not successful. Then I tried to do the same with hdiutil, getting me a bit further again, but still no disk image. Then I gave up the idea of creating a disk image of the SSD which could be used for future recovery trickery and decided to go for a 'simple' copy of the files. The Mavericks Finder had to give up quickly, so again back to the Terminal. The cp command also was not satisfactory, so back to rsync. Seems that this one is bringing the best results so far via:
rsync -av /path/to/source/ /path/to/destination/

Still it is all a load of @#$% thanks to apparently some stupid bug erasing the SSD partition index when it runs out of cache with high traffic situations!

retina in browsers

Recently realised that I could insert screenshots in full resolution and showing up at normal size in all browsers and at 'retina' resolution on my rMBP by changing the width to 50%.

Target disk mode saves not the day, but at least something.

Learned a lot about the backup and recovery options of OS X in the past few days thanks to the crash of the SSD in the MacBook Air. Unfortunately the main partition is not accessible via the MBA itself, so I got a Thunderbolt cable to try accessing it via target disk mode. Something showed up, but the first thing was not that positive:

But fortunately via Terminal I could cp -r some folders to another drive and recover some data. Many errors though.


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